There cannot be many nuns who moonlight as private eyes, but Alison Joseph’s Sister Agnes makes a convincing sleuth. Once married, she has tried her vocation in an enclosed Benedictine order, failed there and is now part of an open order in London. So far she has appeared in four novels, and a fifth, set in a woman’s prison, is to be published later this year.
In the first, Sacred Hearts, she became embroiled in crime when her ex-husband was accused of murdering his second wife.
The stories are characterised by multi-layered plots and thought-provoking back-ground themes.
Agnes’s spiritual dilemmas add an extra dimension to murder investigations. She has problems with poverty and obedience, and even chastity sometimes looks as though it might be beyond her reach.
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